The Donald Update

i_gotta_do_what_i_gotta_do_t_shirts-r8311dc73bc8642078748b06ae5ac73f5_804gs_216At this point in the game, no Donald update would be complete with a birth mom update. She sent an email to the team with a “weekly update”. (I found this interesting as I have not received a weekly update prior to this, so I am not sure if this is something new she is implementing or something the team is asking of her.) Anyway, she informed the team that she has found a new home for her 2 dogs so that they would no longer be “road block”… I’m not sure if this is a road block to her finding a new apartment since the team has asked her to move or if this is a road block to Donald returning to her care since he is a KNOWN abuser of animals. She also indicated that she would be moving her elderly grandmother out of her home at the beginning of the month. She is moving this grandmother to the care of her sister. I would like it noted that this sister has had 4 children of her own removed from her care. This sister has 3 more children including one with global delays and one who is a fire starter. This sister provided foster care to Donald and Daffy in the past (at the court’s order, despite the state fighting against it) where she and others in her home physically and sexually abused Donald and Daffy. But birth mom thinks this is the best place to put her grandmother?????????? Seriously???? Things like this make me question whether she has the ability to keep ANYONE safe… the grandmother, her step daughter or even Donald.

Speaking of the step daughter, birth mom also indicated that the step daughter is now on anti-psychotic drugs and believes this will solve all problems with that relationship. The girl is 7. The team has previously determined that Donald should not live with any other children and we recently learned that donald sexually abused Daffy.  So, please, tell me how it’s in anyone’s best interest for Donald to live in a home with a younger child who supposedly needs anti-psychotic medications at 7 years old.

I couldn’t find any words to respond to the email. Even as I reread it now, all I can do is shake my head. It makes me angry that the team has asked birth mom to make these kinds of drastic changes to get her child back, when they know their is a good chance this will fail. It makes me just as angry that the birth mom would abandon her elderly grandmother to a known dangerous situation and also put at risk her husband’s child.

Donald’s clinician responded with her own update. (Somehow I missed it and didn’t see it until this morning.) In part, she had written:

I did not encourage any of his aggressive talk about hurting BIRTH DAD, but did state he needs to do what he needs to do.

Am I crazy or is that NOT a therapeutic response to a dangerous kid????? Can Donald use that same theory to explain why he fed his sister prescription medications to kill her? Was he “doing what he had to do” when he sexually abused his sister? Or choked her?  And going forward… when birth mom says no, can he attack her? Use weapons? All because he needs to do what he needs to do? How will he separate his justified anger at his birth father from anger he feels towards his step-sister? Step-father? Teacher? Peers? Pets?

I’m having a really hard time with the idea of staying on this team. I know that in some ways they need me now more than ever to be a voice of sanity, but I can’t fight “the man” alone and I feel like i am being pulled into a vortex of worry and despair for a family (and system) that either doesn’t understand or doesn’t care about the dangers they face.

In addition, I am not dealing well with the recent information that the birth mom shared about Donald sexually abusing Daffy. I’m angry. Plain and simple. I KNOW in my mind that I should be more understanding that Donald was likely also a victim of abuse in order to become the abuser, but at my core, I am disgusted with him. I ache for Daffy and HER pain. It’s time for someone to be on Daffy’s side and that someone is me. I could explode when I think about the fact that the STATE kept her in danger all these years by keeping her with him, against the advice of many (GAL, therapists, foster parents, etc).

I’m really struggling right now personally. I can’t find balance in my life. I’m not the person I want to be. I want to continue to advocate for kids in foster care. I know this is my job…. this job belongs to all Americans, really….but I am having a very hard time staying committed to Donald.


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  1. Donald, I hate to say it, it not just RAD, he is really a sociopath too young to be classified as one. He is a danger and honestly, there is no real hope that this will change no matter what anyone does. Daffy may be better off if she is the only child from this horrific life is your life. It may help her emotionally distance herself from her traumatic background. In Judaism we say that saving one life is as though you have saved the whole world. Maybe Daffy is the world you save. The question is, why do you feel your job is not done if Daffy becomes the one and only (aside from having a whole rest of the family and yourself to care for of course)?

  2. I guess I still struggle with our original intentions. We believed that our strength was our ability to see the importance of sibling relationships and to provide a home for a sibling group. Its been a nasty irony in how things have played out. I continuously feel that I failed Donald, despite knowing that we could not simultaneously provide for his needs, his sister’s safety & well being and the simple needs of our birth children. I feel that I owe him something. Since I have accepted that I can not parent him, I feel obligated to advocate for him but that has become increasingly difficult the more I learn about their history and watch his current plan unfold.

    • Not that I actually believe this but you know the saying. . . People plan and god laughs. . .

      I may or may not be a foster parent to another child one day. I have decided that the family I currently have, including myself, needs a break. I do plan to get involved in policy and advocacy though as a psychologist/foster-adopt parent.

      I know you will figure this out. I just want you to know that you can forgive yourself if plans change. After all the new plan may be a better one.


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